BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Karl E. Campbell, associate professor in the Department of History at Appalachian State University, has received continued support from the Triangle Community Foundation for his current book project — a biography on Luther Hartwell Hodges, who, as Campbell said, “was one of North Carolina’s most important political and economic leaders of the 20th century.”
The foundation awarded Campbell $2,865 in additional funding for the book project, which is titled “Carolina at the Crossroads: Governor Luther H. Hodges and the Transformation of the New South.” Campbell first received grant funding for the project in 2009.
“North Carolina and the rest of the South underwent a profound economic and political realignment during Hodges lifetime,” Campbell said. “The policies he advocated in response to this transformation foreshadowed many of the contentious debates that continue to animate American politics in the 21st century.”
In describing his project, Campbell provided information about Hodges’ life in both business and politics:
“After rising from poverty in a textile mill village to become vice president of Marshall Field and Company, Hodges shocked the political establishment by winning election as the state’s lieutenant governor in 1952 and then served as North Carolina’s governor for six years — longer than any previous chief executive in the state’s history.
“Hodges was the last governor to come from North Carolina’s progressive plutocracy — the elite coalition of businessmen and lawyers who had run the state since 1900 — and the first governor to confront the reality that the state’s system of racial capitalism could not survive its transition into a modern economy.
“Hodges sponsored an ambitious program of economic modernization, including the creation of the Research Triangle Park, but his steadfast opposition to civil rights, and his intervention in the Harriet Henderson textile strike, mired North Carolina in controversy and tarnished its reputation as the most progressive state in the South.”
In 1961, Hodges accepted President John F. Kennedy’s invitation to become the U.S. secretary of commerce. He returned home to North Carolina in 1965 to lead the Research Triangle Regional Planning Commission — what is now known as the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) — and serve a term as the president of Rotary International.
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About the Triangle Community Foundation
By working with donors and nonprofits, the Triangle Community Foundation guides philanthropic funds in a strategic way to fill in gaps, reduce inequities and solve the most pressing challenges of North Carolina’s Triangle region. The organization’s funding provides support for nonprofits, as well as scholarships for individuals. Learn more at https://trianglecf.org.
About the Department of History
The Department of History offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which encourages history majors to develop a comprehensive approach to human problems. The study of history is an essential part of a liberal arts education and offers valuable preparation for many careers, such as law, journalism, public history, public service and business, as well as in teaching and the advanced discipline of history. Learn more at https://history.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.